COPD: Learn More Breathe Better

COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Educational Video

Script:

Video of patients is playing in background.

Diane:

To see the country from a motorcycle, once you've done that you never want to see it any other way. It really is one of the best things you can do to release stress and to relax.

Peter:

My two granddaughters are Victoria Elena and Lillian Olivia. Aren’t they beautiful? They’re both very smart, they have good manners, and they love their granddad, which is a bonus.

Dottie:

Well, music is my life. It’s always been there in my life. And harmonizing, I love to harmonize. If I could just get somebody to sing the melody and stay on key! I do miss it, and not to be able to sing like I used to, I miss that greatly.

Diane:

I was having problems and I would start coughing, and I didn’t want to risk having an accident.

Peter:
There were times when I would be seriously out of breath and panicky, thinking, “I’m not going to be able to breathe”. And Tory, the older one said, “why are you breathing like that?”

Graphics spell out COPD.

Diane:

The symptoms, coughing and the problems I was having, now I know is COPD.

Peter:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I hadn’t heard of it.

Dottie:

Emphysema people had heard for years, but to hear COPD, and thought, “Well, where is that coming from - what is that?”

Host:

Have you heard of COPD? It’s a serious lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe.

The host comes full screen. He is a male around the age of 45 to 55. He is a “NASCAR dad”-type of guy, plain spoken and likeable, dressed in khakis and plaid shirt. We see he is at a lunch counter in a diner. He has a cup of coffee and a newspaper on the counter in front of him. He gestures to his newspaper for facts.

Host:

It says here it’s the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. So why have you never heard of it? Well, you might have heard it called by other names, like emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

Now here’s the thing. The number of people with COPD is increasing every year. More than 12 million people have been diagnosed with it, and there are 12 million more out there who have the disease and don’t even know it. So what puts you at risk?

Diane:

I began smoking as a teenager. Both of my parents smoked.

Dottie:

I was in printing, which caused part of the COPD problem, the chemicals. The smoking, I’m sure, was the agitator all along.

Peter:

When I finally stopped smoking, realizing that I had to stop, I was smoking almost two packs a day.

Diane:

You always think, “it’s not gonna be me, you know. It’s not me, it’s gonna be somebody else.”

Peter:

I thought I was in the clear. I had already quit smoking when I was diagnosed with COPD.

Host:

COPD most often affects people 40 and over who are either current smokers or former smokers, like me.

Hey, thanks, Anna!

Waitress has written risk factors on “daily specials” board.

COPD Risk Factors:
Smoking
Environmental Exposure
Genetic Factors

Host:

It can also occur in people that have had long-term exposure to things in their environment that can irritate the lungs, and in some people, COPD is caused by a genetic condition, even if they’ve never smoked.

But what does it feel like to have COPD? How does it affect your life?

Peter:

Because of the COPD, I have to be aware that I’m going to have to move more slowly, that I will be out of breath more quickly than I used to be. I’ve always loved gardening. Certain kinds of things that I used to do easily, maybe I need to get somebody else to do.

Dorothy:

[Coughing] Excuse me. I don’t want to be lying there coughing all the time. I don’t want to be struggling. I don’t want to struggle for that breath, and believe me, I’ve struggled for it.

Diane:

It’s almost like I’d have times where I was just gasping for air. I just…it’s not like I couldn’t catch my breath. I just couldn’t breathe. Maybe that was the way of explaining it. I stopped trying to be a rider and became a passenger on the back of his bike.

Host:

I bet you know people like this. The thing is, they started out by just feeling a little short of breath now and then, maybe coughing a bit now. If that happens to you, how do you know if it’s something you really should be paying attention to?

Host shows us a half- page COPD PSA in newspaper, holding it up for us to see.

  • Constant coughing or ”smoker’s cough”
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling like you can’t breathe
  • Not being able to take a deep breath
  • Wheezing

Take a look here. Are you constantly coughing, what we often call “smoker’s cough”? Do you get short of breath doing things that you used to be able to do? Do you ever feel like you can’t breathe or can’t take a really deep breath? Do you find yourself wheezing? Well, all of these are symptoms of COPD.

Host puts money on the counter and gets up to leave.

Look, I’m not a doctor, so let’s go talk to somebody who knows all about this stuff.

Host is walking down hallway in medical center with Edna.

Edna:

Oh, Wonderful.

Host:

This is Edna. Now throughout her career as a nurse and a respiratory therapist, she has worked with many, many people, helping them to improve their lung function, and it just so happens, she has COPD.

Edna:

That’s right.

Host is sitting in a medical office with Edna. There is a laptop on the table between them.
Edna pulls up illustrations on the laptop.

Host:

All right, Edna. Could you please tell me a little bit about how COPD affects your breathing?

Edna:

Sure. Let me show you. When we’re healthy, the air sacs in our lungs are elastic. They bounce back to their original shape after being filled with air when we inhale, just the way a balloon would, but in people with COPD, the air sacs no longer do that, they’ve lost that elastic quality. People with COPD might find that they produce more mucus in their lungs. Both of these factors make it more difficult to breathe air in and out of the lungs.

Host:

So what should you do if you have some of those risk factors or symptoms that we talked about earlier?

Edna:

You know, it’s really important that you talk to your doctor and let him know what you’re experiencing. And you should also ask about getting a breathing test called spirometry.

It’s a simple test that can probably be done in your doctor’s office. And I have a video.

Edna pulls up video on her computer of spirometry which comes full screen while Edna talks over it.

Spirometry measures how well your lungs function.

Nurse on video:

…and blow it out. Blow, blow, blow, blow….

Edna:

Your doctor will be able to assess how well your lungs are working and whether or not you need to worry about COPD.

Host:

So the key here really is getting diagnosed.

Edna:

Absolutely. From there, you and your doctor can come up with a plan to help you breathe easier, relieve your symptoms, and lead a more active life.

Host:

But Edna, you and I both know that not everybody likes going to the doctor’s, especially if he or she’s going to tell them to quit smoking!

Edna:

You know, your doctor can help you find a smoking cessation program that really works. It’s tough to quit. You and I both know that, but it’s so very important, and I know so many people who’ve said the same thing.

Video shows of patients doing various activities to manage their COPD.

Dottie:

The smoking was the hardest of all, and I didn’t give it up until the last, and that’s what made me suffer the most. I enjoy moving around, and I also enjoy walking, I breathe better, I feel better. I want to be doing. I don’t want to sit here.

Peter:

I never thought that I would be the person to go to a gym, but it’s helped me a lot. I do at least 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week. So you can manage it, through diet, exercise, talking the medications properly.

Diane:

There are a number of things that I do to try and stay healthy. I try to eat right, I try to minimize my contact with different irritants, I take my medications, I get my flu shot, I have my pneumonia vaccine, and doing some deep breathing exercises, I’m maintaining a healthy attitude, a positive attitude.

Peter:

Well, I have many reasons that I want to manage the COPD. I have my friends, I have my children, my grandchildren. I want to see what’s going to happen to these two girls. They are so young that I have to do everything I can to be able to stay around!

Host is now outside leaving clinic.

Host:

So if you smoke now or if you’ve ever smoked, even years ago, or you’ve been exposed to fumes or chemicals, or you have any of the symptoms that we talked about earlier, you might be at risk for COPD. Talk to your doctor and get tested.

And remember, if you’re one of the millions of American dealing with this disease, you’re not alone.

Visit www.learnaboutcopd.org for a lot more information and ways to find help.

This video is brought to you by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

 
 
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